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Apples & Peaches

Our forlorn apple tree still stands despite my constant plans for removing it. Since the trunk of it is the size of a small house, taking it out is something to think about. And heaven forbid hiring someone to trample over my plants. So it remains. Every year, in the dead of winter, I cut it back although several of the limbs are difficult to reach and some always remain. This year, I cut more than I usually do and only two or three large branches still stood, reaching straight up into the sky.  Judging from the apples this year, maybe I'm doing something right - However, it is hard to find a good apple unless it is picked from the tree (hard to reach). The ones on the ground always have bad spots on them. We've never treated the tree for disease or insects and the thought of doing that doesn't appeal to me.  I usually make at least one pie or cake every year from the unblemished apples I am able to retrieve.  My go-to apple recipe is the French Apple Tart f rom Ina Garten.

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - August 2022

Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

Is it the 15th already? Yes it is. Time for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. I haven't had a chance to photograph everything in the garden so I just have a few this month. For more gardens and bloom, check out May Dreams Gardens.

My favorite plant at the moment is the amazing Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus), pictured above and below. I absolutely love this plant and so do the bees. I hate that I don't have the variety name. Another view -

Allium 'Milennium'

'Casa Blanca' Lily

Canna 'Panache'

Four O'Clocks (Mirabilia jalapa)

Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

Rugosa Rose 'Purple Pavement'

Rose 'Marie Pavie'

Zooming in, you can see flowers forming on  Clerodendrum trichotomum 
(Harlequin Glorybower) (Peanut Butter Tree)

Rose 'Ballerina'

Rose 'Lady Emma Hamilton'

Rose 'Lady of Shalott'

Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby'

A very unusual fuchsia, Creeping Fuchsia (Fuchsia procumbens)

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. All your Bloom Day selections are fabulous, Phillip. I've begun to despair that my Chaste Tree will ever grow up to look anything like yours. After nearly 5 years in the ground I don't think mine is over a foot tall - it's not dead but I don't think it likes SoCal at all. Ditto with respect to my 'Lady Emma Hamilton' rose but then I'm coming close to giving up all my roses...

  2. The best fragrance comes from the Rugosa Rose 'Purple Pavement', but it's 'Lady Emma Hamilton' that wins by a (color) knock-out! And as impressive as Joe-Pye is, it's Pan's tradescantia pallida throne that totally stole the show for me.

  3. Your Vitex looks great. 'Lady Emma' another highlight. Looks like your garden is standing up to summer, no problem. Hope you have a beautiful rest of summer, and then the colors of autumn to anticipate!

  4. The beautiful mixture of blooming plants makes your garden look so inviting. The Chaste Tree is an amazing accent.


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